News in brief for July 7: Top headlines for Czechia on Friday

Zelenskyy continues Prague visit, Karlovy Vary main competition ends, and more top stories for Friday, July 7, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 07.07.2023 08:54:00 (updated on 08.07.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

SPORTS Kvitová advances to third round of Wimbledon

Petra Kvitová, the two-time Wimbledon champion, comfortably advanced to the third round after defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovičová of Belarus 6-2, 6-2. Kvitová, seeded ninth, achieved her seventh consecutive victory, having recently won the Berlin tournament.

Kvitová who was eliminated by Sasnovičová at Wimbledon five years ago and expressed satisfaction with her performance. Meanwhile, Jiří Veselý was unable to continue his winning streak, losing to Australian Christopher O'Connell 3-6, 5-7, 4-6. Veselý struggled with his serve and made unforced errors, resulting in his exit from the tournament.

Sports Tour de France winner to participate in Czech race

British cycling champion Chris Froome will participate in the upcoming Czech Tour at the end of July, according to the event's organizers. The four-time Tour de France winner will join the race with the Israel-Premier Tech team. The Czech Tour, consisting of four stages, will commence on July 27 in Prostějov and conclude in Šternberk.

Race director Leopold König expressed his enthusiasm for Froome's participation, highlighting the opportunity for Czech fans to witness the iconic cyclist in action. Froome, who won the Tour de France in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017, is eager to compete in the Czech Republic for the first time.

Economy Building-permit process driving reduced demand for real estate

Construction production in the Czech Republic has declined due to lengthy building permits and reduced demand for real estate caused by high mortgage loans and inflation, according to analysts. However, there is some hope for improvement this year with new legislation and an overall economic revival. Recent data from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) shows a 2.7 percent year-on-year decrease in construction production, although it increased by one percent month-on-month.

The construction industry's willingness to invest has shifted more towards machinery and equipment rather than construction. The amendment of the Construction Act and the introduction of the Institute of a Unified Environmental Opinion are expected to expedite project preparation and potentially revive construction production in the country.

Survey Majority of Czechs believe co-existence with Roma negative

A recent survey by the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) found that 63 percent of Czechia's inhabitants negatively perceive the nation's coexistence with the Roma population while nearly a third consider it good. This marks the lowest negative rating since 1997. The negative perception has been decreasing since 2015, with a 20-percentage-point decrease compared to the last survey in 2019.

Analysts believe that the public's view of the Roma population has generally weakened. The government's solution to the Roma issue is seen as satisfactory by two-fifths of participants, while local self-government receives a more positive evaluation.

UKRAINE Zelenskyy departs from Prague after two-day visit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has concluded his two-day visit to Prague, where he met with the top constitutional officials. During the visit, Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for the Czech Republic's support and discussed various topics, including the situation at the front, developments in Belarus, and Ukraine's potential NATO membership. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala pledged clear support for Ukraine's NATO aspirations.

Zelenskyy also received symbolic gifts from Senate President Miloš Vystrčil and Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Markéta Pekarová Adamová. The visit highlighted the strong partnership between the two countries and the Czech Republic's continued aid to Ukraine.

UKRAINE Zelenskyy meets Ukrainian boy undergoing treatment in Prague

On the first day of his visit to Prague, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with a 14-year-old Ukrainian boy named Anton who is undergoing treatment for a serious illness in Prague. Zelenskyy said it was an honor to meet Anton and praised the boy's belief in and pride for Ukraine. The meeting took place during Zelenskyy's visit to Prague, where Czech President Petr Pavel also commended both participants.

Zelenskyy shared photos of the meeting at Prague Castle and conveyed his well wishes to Anton. President Pavel took to Twitter to express his admiration for the meeting, highlighting the heroes in each other that both Zelenskyy and Anton represent. Zelenskyy continues his visit to Prague with a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala today.

POLICE Security provision for Zelenskyy historic in scope

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's arrival in Czechia required extensive security measures by the Czech police. Police officers from various departments, including the Mobile Intervention Department and the Rapid Deployment Unit, were involved in securing Václav Havel Airport and Prague Castle. The security personnel utilized service vehicles, helicopters, and even Gripen fighters to ensure a safe environment.

The Protection Service, Office for the Protection of the President of the Czech Republic, and Castle Guard were also involved in safeguarding the areas. The security measures were described as one of the largest ever undertaken, with no reported violations, the police tweeted. Zelenskyy arrived on Thursday evening and continues his official visit to Prague today.

Culture Karlovy Vary Film Festival concludes with Italian film

The Karlovy Vary film festival closed on Thursday with a screening of the Italian film The Wind Blows Where It Wants as part of its main competition. The winners of the Crystal Globe for Best Film will be announced at the gala evening on July 8. Directed by Marco Righi, the film explores a provocative interpretation of a key New Testament passage.

Righi expressed gratitude for participating in the festival and dedicated the screening to his late mother. The main competition featured 11 films, including two from the Czech Republic. The jury consists of international industry professionals and actress Patricia Clarkson.

SURVEY More small, medium-sized companies use electric cars

Six percent of small and medium-sized companies and entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic are currently using electric cars, according to the ČSOB Index of Business Expectations survey. An additional 17 percent plan to include electric vehicles in their fleets. The survey reveals that one in four companies in this sector is actively considering electromobility.

Companies with a turnover of up to CZK 3 million show the highest interest in adopting electric vehicles, with over 19 percent intending to make a purchase. The Czech market's slower adoption is attributed to higher prices and an insufficient charging network.

NOISE Three-day techno festival in Czech village upsets cottagers

A multi-day techno party in Stránský has caused concern among local residents and cottagers due to noise disturbances. The event, which attracts thousands of people annually, has prompted complaints about the loud music at night. City officials say their hands are tied as the party is held on private property, and fines imposed by the Offenses Commission are often appealed.

The organizers claim they attempt to keep the music volume down during nighttime. Despite residents' petitions and reports to the police, little action has been taken, leaving locals feeling unsupported. The annual festival sees dozens of DJs from all over Europe perform at the event.

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